Monday, May 11, 2009

Mon petit potager

I love to cook, and enjoy preparing food and using fresh ingredients. It makes sense that I would want a potager, mais non, I don't have the time to tend a garden. But, I do have my own version of a kitchen garden, a pot of herbs, mon petit potager.

I started my first pot a few summers ago and was surprised how quickly the herbs took off. The first summer I planted all the herbs in a single pot. However, those of you who tend herbs know how quickly herbs flourish, and over the years, one pot has become several.

An herb garden is one of the simplest, most affordable French touches you can bring into your home, and this is the time of year to plant. Here's how: if you want to plant all your herbs in a single pot, you'll need one large pot about 14-16" in diameter and about 9 inches deep. I prefer terra cotta pots; they come in a variety of shapes and some have lovely relief designs. Fill the pot slightly more than halfway with potting soil, remove the herbs from their pots, set the plants, and fill around the plants with soil. Add water, pick a sunny spot for your pot and voila--you have your own petit potager!

Which herbs to plant? It all depends on what you like to use in your cooking. In one pot I have thyme, tricolor sage, in another is a single rosemary plant, and another holds flat leaf parsley. Then there are a few pots of lavender (you have to grow some lavender!) And every summer there is at least one pot with basil.

There are many vendors who sell herbs; I’ve seen them at Whole Foods, the farmers market, and I saw them at the nursery when I was there to buy geraniums. For less than $5.00 for a pot of herbs, you can begin your own petit potager. Plant your herbs this week and by the first day of summer you'll be ready to harvest.


  1. I've got basil and rosemary growing in a pot right now. I love plants in a pot. Compact gardening fits my lifestyle right now.

  2. I have trouble keeping plants alive but I am willing to give this a shot. I think I will start with rosemary since I use that the most.

  3. Mary, it is so easy--even I can grow herbs! Actually, maintenance is very low if you can plant them in the ground; they don't require frequent watering, and I think they grow fuller, and more quickly.